Podcasts

Novelist Antoine Wilson, author of Mouth to Mouth

Novelist Antoine Wilson, author of Mouth to Mouth, and I discuss setting, plotting, creating characters, ironic endings, and more. About Mouth to Mouth, one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2022, Kirkus said, “A deliciously nasty morality play in the guise of a thriller.”

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(Recorded on August 18, 2022)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Support the show on Patreon.
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com

Isaac Fitzgerald, Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Isaac Fitzgerald, author of the new memoir, Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional, and I talk about the art, craft, and business of writing his memoir.

Isaac is the New York Times bestselling author of Dirtbag, Massachusetts. He appears frequently on The Today Show and is also the author of the bestselling children’s book How to Be a Pirate as well as the co-author of Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them and Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos (winner of an IACP Award). His writing has appeared in The New York TimesThe AtlanticEsquireThe GuardianThe Best American Nonrequired Reading, and numerous other publications. He lives in Brooklyn.

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(Recorded on July 15, 2022 via Zoom)
 Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Support the show on Patreon. Marrie and I appreciate every dollar.
 Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com

Novelist Jacinda Townsend, Mother Country

Jacinda Townsend, author of the novel Mother Country (Graywolf), and I discuss her new book and the setting of Morocco, alternating POVs, slavery, writing with the senses, and more. 

 
During her Fulbright year, on a layover in Morocco, Jacinda discovered the city of Marrakech and fell in love. Later that same year, on a trip to Northern Mali, she also first witnessed modern-day slavery: that incident inspired the research that eventually took her to Mauritania, where she met with escaped slaves and anti-slavery activists and began the work that would become her newly published novel, Mother Country (Graywolf, 2022).  Mother Country is told in the voices of an American woman struggling with infertility who kidnaps a young Moroccan girl, and the young mother, escaped from Mauritanian slavery, who loses her. Jacinda is also the author of Saint Monkey (Norton, 2014), which is set in 1950’s Eastern Kentucky and is a love letter to a Black community that has all but disappeared. Saint Monkey won the 2015 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for best fiction written by a woman and the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for that year’s best historical fiction. Saint Monkey was also the 2015 Honor Book of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

 

(Recorded via Zoom on July 28, 2022)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Check out our Patreon page!
 Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com

Novelist Susan Straight, author of Mecca

Susan Straight, author of the novel, Mecca, which Michael Connelly called “a masterpiece,” and I talked about her new novel and how it came to be. Susan Straight was born in Riverside, CA, and still lives there with her family. She’s passionate about home, California, the Santa Ana River, the foothills and the deserts, and has been writing about southern California and the inland area for forty years. From her kitchen window, she can see the hospital where she was born, which her three daughters find kind of hilarious and pathetic; most days, she walks her dog Angel beside the Santa Ana River as she has since childhood, and then past the classrooms at Riverside City College, where she wrote her first short story, at 16, which is also kind of hilarious, but hopeful. She has written about the people of California for her new memoir, In the Country of Women, based on women’s stories told for five generations to Straight and her daughters, in driveways and trucks, at parks and funerals. She’s published that memoir, eight novels, and two books for children. Her short stories and essays have been published everywhere from The New YorkerThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian to AltaThe BelieverMcSweeneysZoetropeReader’s DigestReal Simple, and Family Circle. She’s been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lannan Prize for Fiction, a California Gold Medal for Fiction, and the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. 

Download audio.
(Recorded on July 12, 2022)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
Support the show on Patreon!
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com

Memoirist Tad Friend

Memoirist Tad Friend, author of In the Early Times, and I discuss getting to the truth in memoir, what to do when you’re asked to record your own audio book (and don’t want to), revision, backstory vs. front story, and so much more.
Tad Friend has been a New Yorker staff writer since 1998. An excerpt of this book was published in an April issue, which is when I became aware of the memoir and knew I had to have Tad on the show.
Download audio.
(Recorded via Zoom on July 7, 2022)
Music and sound design by Travis Barrett. More typewriter music on Spotify: Just My Type
Consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Now that we’re no longer at the station, it’s a bit more complicated producing shows so every donation helps more than you know. Here’s the link.
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com

Julie Clark on Writers on Writing

Julie Clark, author of The Lies I Tell, and I talk about how she found her way to the domestic thriller genre, why she finds female con artists fascinating, her revision process, how she finds time to teach full-time and get her writing done, and so much more.

Julie Clark is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight. It has earned starred reviews from KirkusPublishers Weekly, and Library Journal, and the New York Times has called it “thoroughly absorbing”. It’s been named an Indie Next Pick, a Library Reads Pick, and a Best Book of 2020 by Amazon Editors and Apple Books. Her debut, The Ones We Choose, was published in 2018 and has been optioned for television by Lionsgate. She lives in Los Angeles with her two sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control.

 (Recorded in June, 2022)
Support the show on Patreon.com/WritersonWriting!
 Music and sound design by Travis Barrett
 Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com
Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com
Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com